Today I’m thrilled to have author of Black Wolf, G.D. Abson, on the blog to discuss the location of his new book, and why he decided to set this series in St Petersburg…
Author: G.D. Abson
Series: Natalya Ivanova Thriller #2
Publisher: Mirror Books
A young woman is found dead on the outskirts of St Petersburg on a freezing January morning. She has no injuries, and heavy snowfall has buried all trace of an attacker.
Government security services immediately shut down the case, and Natalya suspects the authorities have something to hide. When the dead woman is revealed to be an anti-Putin activist, Natalya has to go undercover to expose the truth.
But with her career at stake and her own family in danger, how far is she prepared to go?
A captivating, pacy thriller that plunges right into the beating heart of Putin’s Russia.
A Note from the Author:
“Often I’m asked: why Russia?”
For one thing, the per capita murder rate in Russia is four times that of England & Wales – a Russian town is a more realistic location than, say, Hemel Hempstead if I need to bump off a few people, albeit it on paper. And then there’s the corruption. In UK public life bribery is rare, in Russia it’s the norm. Out of 176 countries on Transparency International’s corruption ranking (the lower the number, the better), the UK is at a respectable 11th position, while Russia is 138th. An ideal number if I have a killer who needs to get off a murder charge, or if I need to create a dilemma for my detective, Natalya Ivanova. In MOTHERLAND, she has to save her stepson from conscription and discovers she isn’t quite as upright as she thought she was.
There are other facets of Russian justice too that make it a more believable setting than law-abiding Britain. If I need someone wrongly convicted, then Russia is the place to go. A UK court will find one in five defendants innocent. But in Russia, they could do away with courts altogether. Once the decision has been made to prosecute, the poor defendant has a tiny one-in-five-hundred chance of walking free.
There’s the truly world class Russian mafia, the government that gave us fake news, the President’s billionaire friends who pass state assets to each other like poker chip, the oligarchs with stupendous wealth or the incredibly brave activists who try to expose them – the basis for my second novel, BLACK WOLF. It is a rich world for a crime writer.
I’ve always been attracted to dark settings and dystopian worlds in crime but it’s not dirty, functional Moscow where I chose to set my novels. Natalya, my ment (cop in Russian slang) lives in St. Petersburg – an improbable capital transformed from swampland seized from the Swedes into one of the greatest cities on Earth. Piter is a place of high culture that also happens to be the birthplace of the Russian mafia, and the revolution, and where a certain Vladimir Putin learned to scrap in its crumbling alleyways.
So, the question for me isn’t “Why Russia?”, but why would I set a crime novel in any other place?
Black Wolf is out now – buy from Amazon or WATERSTONES.
[About the author]
G.D. Abson was born in County Durham and grew up on army bases in Germany and Singapore before returning to the North-East. He is the author of Motherland, the first in a series featuring Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova, and was shortlisted for a Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.
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